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The Scottish Association of Family History Societies

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SAFHS Conferences Archives

SAFHS Conference 2018
The 29th SAFHS Conference and Family History Fair was hosted by Fife Family History Society on the theme of "Was Your Ancestor a Fife Convict?" and was held at Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, Fife, on Saturday 21st April 2018.

SAFHS Conference 2017
The 28th SAFHS Conference and Family History Fair was hosted by Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (ASGRA), and was held at The Bay Hotel, Burntisland Road, Kinghorn, Fife, on Saturday 22nd April 2017. The theme of the event was "Building Bridges: Making Connections …".

SAFHS Conference 2016
The 27th Annual Conference of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies was hosted by Lanarkshire Family History Society, and was held in New Lanark Mill on Saturday 23rd April 2016. The theme of the event was "Heritage along the Clyde …".

Here are a few images form the day (courtesy of Murray Nicoll, Chair, Tay Valley FHS):

SAFHS Conference 2015
The 26th Annual Conference of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies was hosted by Central Scotland Family History Society, and was held in Allan Park South Church, Dumbarton Road, Stirling on Saturday 25th April 2015. The theme of the event was "There was a Soldier …".

SAFHS Conference 2014
The 25th Annual Conference of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies was hosted by the SAFHS Executive and Council, and was held within the Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline on Saturday 26th April 2014.

Here are a few images form the day (courtesy of Mike Grubb, Scottish Golf and Ancestry Tours):

SAFHS Conference 2013
The 24th Annual Conference of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies was hosted by Borders Family History Society, and was held within the Scottish Borders Campus, Nether Road, Galashiels, TD1 3HE, Scotland on Saturday 11th May, 2013.

Here are a few images form the day (courtesy of Murray Nicoll, Tay Valley Family History Society):

SAFHS Conference 2012
The 23rd Annual Conference of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies was hosted jointly by Tay Valley Family History Society and Fife Family History Society, and was held within the University of Dundee complex on Saturday 21st April.

Here are a few images form the day (courtesy of John R McGregor, Renfrewshire Family History Society):

The 23rd Scottish Association of Family History Societies' Annual Conference was held at the Dundee University on Saturday 21st April. This was held jointly by Fife FHS and Tay Valley FHS.

It took 3 years to plan, and it was all over between 9 and 4.30 on the day.

The "festivities" started on the evening of Friday 20th with a Civic Reception held in the Dundee City Council Chambers. This was presided over by the Depute Lord Provost, Baillie Ian Borthwick, who warmly welcomed around 30 conference delegates. Bruce Bishop, Janet Bishop, Ken Nisbet and John Irvine, Chairman, Editor, Secretary and Treasurer of the SAFHS respectively, represented the Association.

As at all such functions attended by family history enthusiasts, we sat down over a drink, coffee and sandwiches, and exchanged experiences.

On the Saturday morning, nice and early about 08.00, the Bonar Hall was opened for exhibitors to set up.

The book fair was held in the Bonar hall, with a large number of tables being taken by the exhibitors. With a steady stream of visitors passing through the halls in the course of the day, there was quite a bustling air about the place.

The talks were held throughout the day in the D'Arcy Thomson Lecture Theatre, situated on the ground floor of the adjacent building Tower Block building. Depute Lord Provost Baillie Ian Borthwick again attended and officially opened the proceedings. All talks were well attended, and enjoyed by the delegates.

The first talk was by Prof Geoff squire of the James Hutton Institute, who lead us through the history of crops from 5000 BC to the late 1800s. The expansion from its origins in the middle east to the western hemisphere was governed by weather, climate, human and animal movement. All was explained as well as well as showing of samples of the old crops still being researched today.

Ron Scrimgeour was next, telling of the 500 years anniversary this year, 2012, of the weavers craft in Dundee. Ron is a deacon of the craft, one of the crafts making up the nine trades of Dundee. Extracts from the "Lockit Book", the diary of the history of the craft were shown, including that of an apprentice, who married before finishing his apprenticeship. The lad was immediately dismissed from his post, but after an appeal to a very higher authority, ie Royalty, was re instated. Working conditions, social climate and everyday running of the craft were on display.

Bruce Durie finished the morning session with a very informative, and sometimes hilarious account of "Dick Donovan, the famous fictitious Dundee detective". This detective was the forerunner of a great many similar detectives, including Sherlock Holmes. The personal life of the creator, who wrote stories for the local newspapers, was also discussed.

After a soup and sandwich lunch, the afternoon was divided into three sessions of two talks and a discussion.

Roy McAslan from the Anstruther Fisheries Museum compared the differences between the fishing ports of Fife, comparing 150 years ago to the present day.

Andrew Dowsie, the Fife County archivist, gave the last talk of the day, detailing Glenrothes and the Fife Coal Rush. The movements of the mining community around the various pits was quite a surprise to many of the audience.

At the end of the day, after all 5 of the talks we completed, a forum was held - "Steve Connelly and Friends". The local archivists, Steve Connelly, Andrew Dowsie and Ian Flett, from Perth, Fife and Dundee archives respectively, were the members of the forum. Asking questions from the floor is always a slightly unknown time, but they were supplied with interesting and varied questions submitted from the delegates. None of the questions went without a solid answer.

Bruce Bishop, in his capacity as SAFHS chairman, thanked all who played a part in the organising and running of the present conference, closed the conference, and invited us all to attend the 24th SAFHS Conference in 2013.

On Saturday, 11 May 2013, within the Scottish Borders Campus, Nether Road, Galashiels, Borders FHS will host the 24th Annual SAHFS Conference with the theme of "Comings and Goings".

Please put a note of this date in your diary for next year, and support the SAFHS Conference.

Archie Lumsden, chair of Fife FHS, and Murray Nicoll, chair of Tay Valley FHS, both agreed that they greatly appreciated the support of members of their societies, and all the hard work that had gone into the project.

A big thank you is due to all concerned, whether attending as delegate, stallholder, or hard at work making things happen.

Murray Nicoll, Chairman, Tay Valley FHS

SAFHS Conference 2011
The Scottish Genealogy Society hosted the 22nd Annual Conference of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies on Saturday, 25th June 2011.

The venue was Adam House, Chambers Street, Edinburgh.

In spite of it being damp and also National Armed Forces day in Edinburgh, all our plans fell into place. The equipment worked, the coffee was good and many people attended.

The Conference was opened by the SGS Honorary President, Mr David Sellar, the Lord Lyon King of Arms.

All the talks including the free lunchtime talks were very well attended.

City: Richard Hunter from the Edinburgh City Archives gave an informative talk on its large and various holdings. He also related that the Archives staff had come across some school and other records. Well worth a visit if you have Edinburgh ancestors, but do allow time as not a lot of the material is indexed. The Archive Search Room is closed until October 2011.

Church: Tristram Clarke from the National Records of Scotland gave a very interesting talk on the history of the Scottish Episcopal Church, including some its difficulties in the early days, such as priests not being allowed to baptise children. In the 19th century many of its members came from industrial workers, such as weavers in Girvan and iron workers in Airdrie, who had migrated from England. Tristram is currently updating the NRS publication Tracing your Scottish Ancestors.

Church: Andrew Nicoll's very lively talk on the Scottish Catholic Archives started off the afternoon. He explained the various records they hold at Columba House. He and his assistants are to be congratulated on their work in collecting these records and making them available on online via the ScotlandsPeople Website.

Census: The last talk was from Duncan Macniven, Registrar General for Scotland. With the Scottish 1911 census having been released in April, it was interesting to hear some of the aspects of Scottish life that can be learnt from it - not just finding our ancestors. He also spoke about collecting the 2011 census and some of the differences in the contents of both.

The Family History Fair over three floors, with a wide variety of exhibitors, from our sister societies to postcard- and book-sellers, provided interest for everyone. It was certainly very busy at lunchtime.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the SAFHS societies who had stalls at Adam House and who gave their

Joy Dodd, Chairman, SGS


Click here to go to the latest Conference page, or here to download our guide to members on planning the SAFHS Annual Conference.

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